How to survive the next Google Core Web Vitals update

Did you know Google will make Core Web Vitals a ranking signal for websites in June 2021? While originally scheduled for May, they have pushed back the rollout by about 6 weeks. So, you have two months to get your house in order or in this case your website in order. Google is combining the Core Web Vitals update with existing “Page Experience” signals, mobile-friendliness, safe browsing, HTTPS and intrusive interstitials.

What Are Core Web Vitals?

Core web vitals are a series of signals based on real-world usage data that quantify key aspects of the user experience. These “vital signs” are page quality signals that contribute to a good user experience.

Source: Google

Core web vitals cover things like page load time, responsiveness, and the visual stability of content. Each of these core web vitals has specific thresholds that must be met.

Google’s current set of core web vitals includes:

  • Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): LCP measures how fast the largest image/video or text block renders on the webpage. In simpler terms, the time it takes for the site to load the main content generally above the fold on the page.
    This is important because it tells the user that the URL is loading.
    Google recommends that it should not take longer than 2.5 seconds.
  • First input delay (FID): FID measures load responsiveness. This refers to how quickly a webpage loads and executes so that the user can interact with the page.
    This is important on pages where the user needs to do something because this is when the page has become interactive.
    Google recommends that it should not take longer than 100 ms (milliseconds).
  • Cumulative layout shift (CLS): CLS measures unexpected layout shifts on a webpage. Think of this as visual content on the page. One example is when a button or link shifts on the webpage, causing a person to click on something other than what they wanted.
    This is important because having page elements shift while a user is trying to interact with it is a bad user experience.
    Google recommends that it should not take longer than 0.1 seconds. 

What is Page Experience?

Source: Google

Page Experience Factors

These are:

  • Mobile-friendliness: A non-mobile-friendly site requires users to pinch/zoom in order to read the content which is a poor user experience.
  • Safe browsing: Is your site free from security issues such as potential harmful content?
  • HTTPS: Is your site’s connection secure? It protects the data between the users’ computer and the site.
  • Intrusive interstitials: When the page content is obscured by a popup. This frustrates users because they can’t easily interact with the content of the pae.

Why Does Page Speed Matter?

If a website takes too long to load it massively increases the bounce rate. This will not only lead to a decrease in conversions on your site but it will also lead to a loss in rankings. Google has previously announced that Page Speed is a ranking factor.

Source: Google

We, at Bruce Clay Australia, believe the Core Web Vitals update will have a big impact on overall rankings. We believe this is a significant update since Google announced the update last year as it wanted websites to prepare for this event.

DIY Page Speed Improvements

Google has reported that in the past several months they have seen a 70% spike in the number of website owners utilising tools such as Lighthouse & Page Speed Insights in order to identify opportunities for improvement.

For those Aussies who like tinkering around in the tool-shed, or with their website, we have prepared a 48 page e-book for you on Google’s Page Experience Update. Please go ahead and download the free guide.

Google is also providing a lot more information via Google Search Console. So what are you waiting for, open up the report and roll-up your sleeves!

And for those of you would like to leave the SEO of their website to professionals, please connect with us now on 1300 732 734 or visit our site for more info: Bruce Clay Australia

We can help you increase the visibility of your website on Google.

About the Author:

Sid is a domain expert in Digital Marketing (specialising in SEO and Google Ads) and is a speaker and instructor at various industry forums including TEDx, DMAI, SES, Adtech, Australian Marketing Institute,  Young Entrepreneurs Academy & more.

He leads the Sydney office of Bruce Clay Australia & has helped hundreds of websites achieve 1st-page rankings on Google.

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